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Immigration: Family Classes

One of the objectives of Canada's immigration program is to facilitate the reunion in Canada of Canadian citizens and permanent residents with their close relatives and family members. The Family Classes include the overseas Family Class and the inland Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada Class.

A member of either the overseas Family Class or the inland Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada Class must be sponsored by a sponsor who must meet certain requirements.

A foreign national is not considered a a member of the Family Class or the Spouse or Common-law Partner in Canada Class if he/she falls into the category of excluded relationships.

While the selection criteria for the Family Classes are established by the Federal government, Quebec may establish its own criteria for the selection of the Assisted Relative Class.

A foreign national who became a permanent resident as a member of the family class or the spouse or common-law partner in Canada class must cohabit in a conjugal relationship with their sponsor for a continuous period of two years after they became a permanent resident if, at the time the sponsor filed a sponsorship application., they had been the spouse or common-law partner or conjugal partner of the sponsor for a period of two years or less and they had no child with the sponsor. Their accompanying family member is also subject to the condition that they meet these conditions. There are some exceptions.

A foreign national will not be considered a spouse, a common-law partner, a conjugal partner or an adopted child of a person if the marriage, common-law partnership, conjugal partnership or adoption was entered into primarily for the purpose of acquiring any status or priviliege under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act or is not genuine.

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